Giscome Portage Trail was designated an official Heritage Site July 17th, 1997. BC Parks took over management of the trail when it was designated a Protected Area in the year 2000.
The Portage, which means, “carry”, was first used by the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation as a trade route and for harvesting plants and animals. The first reference to a Portage in the vicinity of what would later be known as the Giscome Portage is found in the journals of Simon Fraser (1806).
The gold strikes on Germansen and Manson Creeks led to the Omineca Gold Rush in the late 1860s. In 1863, a guide from the Lheidli T’enneh lead two Black miners across the trail, John Robert Giscome of Jamaica and Henry McDame from the Bahamas. These two men originally came to North America for the California Gold Rush, but arriving near the end of the rush they headed to the gold fields of the North. The trail now bears the name of Giscome as one of the first non-natives to travel across the portage.
After being petitioned, the government constructed a wagon road over the Giscome Portage, and the navigation on the Crooked River was improved in 1871. Despite the numerous travellers using the Giscome Portage, no actual community developed there until the early years of the 20th century. This community was later to be known as the Huble Homestead.
World War I initiated the decline of Giscome Portage and the decline accelerated with the construction of a road between Prince George and Summit Lake in 1919. Giscome Portage was bypassed as the transportation method shifted from water to road.
Park visitors are able to view many species of native wildlife within a natural setting. Frequently sited wildlife species include moose, deer, black bear, beaver, grouse and eagles.